Modern Racism

#AAPIHeritageMonth: Why We Should Stop Asking #POC Where They’re From

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All my life, I’ve been asked ethnically probing questions, and often times people aren’t even correct in how they pose them. They’ll often ask things like, “Where are you from?” I often ask my own question for clarity sake. You mean, which state was I born in? You mean, how long have I lived in California? Or do you really mean, since I’m a Person of Color, what ethnic origin made me a brown person?

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. It’s a month where I reflect on my own experience as a multi-ethnic Person of Color that doesn’t call herself a “Latinx” or an “Asian.” Where are you from?—is a question I’ve been asked at least a million times. What the real question is: What is your ethnicity? Ethnicity is different than nationality. People can be ethnically from a different country than their nationality. My nationality is American. My ethnicity and the ethnicity of other People of Color are no one else’s business. Our ethnicity isn’t relevant to our qualifications for being the right job candidate, and it shouldn’t be a subject of casual conversation. So, why is our ethnicity constantly asked on every single job application? On many applications, they ask if you’re Hispanic or not. I am forced to answer this question with a “No” because I identify with more than one ethnicity. Once I answer “No” on many forms, I’m prompted to pick from other groups of ethnicities. I’ve often seen this option: “Two or More ethnicities (not Hispanic.) See the screenshot below from an actual LinkedIn application.

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International Women’s Day Should Be More Than A Diversity Marketing Ploy

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March 8th marks International Women’s Day, designed to reflect on our values as a society and honor multicultural women globally. As an aspiring author, creative professional, and multi-ethnic Asian-Hispanic woman, I see the call for diversity as a major focus in the publishing world as it seems to be throughout all businesses.

While wanting diversity is an important step, as a woman of color (WOC), I have experienced the hypocrisy in the call for people of color (POC) to have the same opportunities as white writers and working professionals. Yes, #diversity, #POC, #BLM are all fun, #woke little hashtags, and look really 21st-century-cool. Yet the need for inclusion is more than the preferred pronouns someone lists on their social media. Inclusion goes beyond an antidote to an EEOC claim brought about because an applicant was pre-judged based on their race, age, gender, or sexuality. But the scream for diversity has started to feel like a trendy marketing ploy. It has been my own experience that brown people are becoming exploited in superficial marketing claims from companies to be more inclusive with no legitimate intention of following through.

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Being A Minority Writer: Why We Don’t Fit In A Box

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Photo by Eva Elijas on

Woman. Writer. Hard Worker. Sister. Wife. Mother. Aunt. Best Friend. Korean. Puerto Rican. Mixed Minority. Non-Bilingual. American. Educated. Social Media Maven. Content Producer. Book-Nerd. True Crime Buff. Insomniac. Major Depression Battler. Self-Help Junkie. Sushi Fanatic. Nature-Lover. Dog Mom. Eternal Learner. Human.

None of us fit in one box, and most of us wear many hats. That’s why I’ve never liked questions where I’m not just asked but forced to choose one ethnicity. Am I Hispanic or Latino? Well, yes, but I’m also half Korean. Where’s the box for that? You don’t see— Are you German? You don’t see—Are you Irish? It’s only—Are you Hispanic or Latino? That damn question is everywhere and on everything and not just job applications. I’ve always wondered why the hell does it even matter that I’m half Hispanic or Latino? It forced me to admit one very hard truth—it does matter to our society. Our society wants us to fit in something that they can identify, to help them categorize us.

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